MS. Buchanan e. 4
Book of Hours, Use of Rome, in Latin and French. France, late 15th or early 16th century.
[Item 1 occupies quire I]
With an entry for every day, major feasts in gold (none of them local), the others alternately red or blue; neither of the Paris saints, Geneviève (3 Jan.), nor Marcellus (3 Nov.) are in gold; each month headed by a note on the length of the calendar and lunar month in gold.
[Items 2-5 occupy quires II-XII]
Gospel Pericopes, John
Followed (fol. 8r-v) by the usual antiphon, versicle, response and prayer: 'Protector in te sperancium ...' (cf. MS. Buchanan e 3).
Prayers to the Virgin
[masculine forms] (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 2)
[masculine forms] (pr. Wilmart, Auteurs spirituels , 494-5)
The Passion Narrative
[John 18:1-19:42; for the divisions of the text, see under Decoration]; followed (fols. 33v-34r) by a versicle, response and the prayer: 'Deus qui manus tuas et pedes tuos ...' (pr. Wordsworth, op. cit. , 123-4; Leroquais, Livres d'heures , I, p. xxiv) which usually follows the common paraphrased version of the Passion narrative (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 9, fol. 108r-v).
Hours of the Virgin, Use of Rome
With three lessons at Matins, and (fols. 85r-93v) seasonal variants.
[Items 6-9 occupy quires XIII-XV]
The Seven Penitential Psalms
Litany and collects
The litany including Lazarus, Martial, and Saturninus between All Holy Apostles & Evangelists, and All Holy Disciples; Paxentius (relics at Paris) last among twenty-five martyrs; Bavo (3) among twenty confessors; Geneviève, Avia, Susanna, Ursula, Rosa, Scholastica, Aldegund, Radegund, Gertrude, Clare (11-20), among twenty-three virgins; followed (fol. 111r-v) by three collects.
Hours of the Cross
Hours of the Holy Spirit
[Items 10-14 occupy quires XVI-XXV]
Office of the Dead, Use of Rome
The versicle after the usual ninth lesson and response is (fol. 148v): 'Clamantes et dicentes ...'.
Prayer for the faithful departed buried in the cemetery
Consisting of an antiphon, 'Avete omnes anime fideles ...', versicle, response, and the prayer 'Domine ihesu christe salus et liberatio fidelium animarum ...' (pr. Leroquais, op. cit. , II, 341).
Suffrages to Saints(i) Michael, (ii) John the Baptist, (iii) John the Evangelist, (iv) Peter & Paul, (v) James, (vi) Laurence, (vii) Christopher ('... michi famulo tuo .N. ...'), (viii) Sebastian, (ix) Roche (fol. 170r-v; as on fols. 185v-186r), (x) Nicholas, (xi) Antony Abbot, (xii) Anne, (xiii) Mary Magdalen, (xiv) Catherine, (xv) Margaret, (xvi) Barbara, and (xvii) Apollonia (prayers pr. in Corpus orationum are nos.: (i) 1789, (ii) 4492, (iii) 2416c, (iv) 1158b, (v) 2445c, (vi) 960, (x) 1463, (xi) 1468, (xii) 1366b, (xiii) 3231, (xiv) 1521, and (xv) 1384b).
Prayers to the Virgin
[Fol. 183r is ruled, otherwise blank; fol. 183v has a full-page miniature]
20 lines ruled in pale red ink, with single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page, the top and bottom horizontals extending the full width of the page.
The calendar ruled for 33 lines per page.
PRICKINGS do not survive, except in quire XXV (fols. 189-194). 19 lines of text per page
Written in lettre bâtarde, by at least three main scribes: the first up to fol. 182v, with occasional calligraphic flourishes extending from ascenders and descenders (e.g. fols. 47r, 87v); the second on fol. 184r; the third from fol. 185r to the end; the calendar may be by the first or a fourth scribe, but the smaller script and use of coloured inks makes comparison difficult.
Headings alternately in red or blue, each of the three scribes providing the headings for their own texts.
Twenty-three large rectangular miniatures (arched on fols. 31v, 33r, 34v), extending above the top ruled line; usually framed by pillars or pillasters painted to resemble marble, or in gold, on which stand angels or other figures related to the main scene, or who carry attributes relevant to the event depicted. Their size is expressed according to how many lines are left below each miniature for the start of the text.
One miniature above seven lines of text: (fol. 7r) Pericope of John. John writing on Patmos; the seven-headed beast of the Apocalypse in the background.
The Passion narrative. The first of nine miniatures is above three lines of text, the remainder are above five lines:
- (fol. 20v) John 18:1-10. Agony in the Garden; in the background, Judas, holding the bag of money, leading the soldiers into the garden.
- (fol. 22r) John 18:11-28. Betrayal, Arrest, and Christ healing Malchus' ear.
- (fol. 24r) John 18:29-37. Christ Crowned with Thorns; his two tormenters each in a 'dancing' pose, with one knee raised.
- (fol. 25v) John 18:38-19:6. Flagellation: four tormentors; blood on the tiled floor.
- (fol. 27r) John 19:6-14. Christ brought before Pilate, who washes his hands.
- (fol. 28v) John 19:15-23. Christ Carrying the Cross.
- (fol. 30r) John 19:24-31. Crucifixion; the Virgin, John, and other nimbed figures to the left; soldiers to the right.
- (fol. 31v) John 19:32-39. Deposition; two figures on ladders lower Christ's body, supporting it under the arms, a third takes his legs.
- (fol. 33r) John 19:40-42. Entombment; Mary Magdalen in the foreground; six other figures; Christ heavily repainted.
Hours and other major texts. Most of the thirteen miniatures are above four lines of text:
- (fol. 34v) Hours of the Virgin, Matins. Annunciation; Gabriel pointing upward at the Dove.
- (fol. 44r) Lauds. Visitation; with Joseph(?) behind the Virgin.
- (fol. 55r) Prime. Nativity; the Virgin and Joseph adore the Child.
- (fol. 59v) Terce. Annunciation to the Shepherds; one holding bagpipes, another leaning towards a seated shepherdess.
- (fol. 64r) Sext. Adoration of the Magi.
- (fol. 68r) None. Presentation in the Temple.
- (fol. 72r) Vespers. Flight into Egypt, from right to left; the Holy Family accompanied by a maidservant carrying a basket on her head; the Massacre of the Innocents and the Fall of the Idols in the background. [This miniature is above only three lines of text, presumably in error].
- (fol. 79v) Compline. Coronation of the Virgin.
- (fol. 94r) Penitential Psalms. David in Penitence, before an altar; a border grotesque is playing a harp.
- (fol. 112r) Hours of the Cross. The Man of Sorrows, sitting on the edge of the tomb, surrounded by the Instruments of the Passion.
- (fol. 115r) Hours of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost; tongues of fire descend through a window onto the Apostles and Virgin, who kneels at a canopied prie-dieu.
- (fol. 118r) Office of the Dead. An emaciated figure draped in a shroud brandishes a spear at a richly-dressed young man with a bird of prey and two dogs; behind them, a casket-like ossuary raised on columns (the composition very similar to that in Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS. 85, fol. 71v, which has a woman instead of man; see James, Fitzwilliam McClean cat. , 177 item 41, pl. LV; and in other Maître François books such as MS. Canon. Liturg. 43).
- (fol. 161v) Prayer. Men and women kneeling in prayer in a cemetery; skulls in upper-storey charnel houses; the foremost woman's face repainted (pl. 000).
Seventeen small miniatures, each eight to ten lines high, narrower than the width of the text, illustrating the suffrages to saints:
- (fol. 163v) St. Michael defeating the devil.
- (fol. 164r) St. John the Baptist holding the Agnus Dei.
- (fol. 164v) St. John the Evangelist with the chalice and serpent.
- (fol. 165r) St. Peter & St. Paul.
- (fol. 166r) St. James sitting reading a book.
- (fol. 166v) St. Laurence reading a large book.
- (fol. 167v) St. Christopher carrying the Christ Child across the river.
- (fol. 169r) St. Sebastian shot with arrows, watched by the emperor.
- (fol. 170r) St. Roche displaying a plague sore on his thigh to the angel.
- (fol. 171r) St. Nicholas blessing the three boys in the tub.
- (fol. 171v) St. Antony Abbot reading a book outside his hermitage, with his pig.
- (fol. 172r) The Virgin writing, left-handed, in a book held by St. Anne.
- (fol. 173r) St. Mary Magdalen.
- (fol. 173v) St. Catherine reading a book.
- (fol. 174r) St. Margaret emerging from the dragon.
- (fol. 175r) St. Barbara reading a book.
- (fol. 176r) St. Apollonia reading a book
Two added full-page miniatures:
- (fol. 183v) St. Francis receiving the stigmata; with simple architectural framing in painted gold.
- (fol. 184v) A coat of arms: or, a mill rind cross gules, with helm and mantling of or and gules, and crest of a tree with (?)fir-cones, all supported by a lion and griffin (see under Provenance).
One added miniature, above five lines of text: (fol. 185r) Suffrage. St. Martin and the Beggar; with an architectual framing in painted gold, bearing the rubric 'DE. SANCTO. MARTINO' in square capitals at the base; the opening five lines of the text on a trompe-l'oeuil sheet as if suspended in front of the plane of the image.
Seven historiated initials, six or seven lines high, illustrating pericopes and prayers:
- (fol. 8v) Pericope of Luke. St. Luke writing at a lectern, with the Ox.
- (fol. 9v) Pericope of Matthew. St. Matthew writing, the Angel holding his exemplar open.
- (fol. 11r) Pericope of Mark. St. Mark writing, left-handed, with the Lion.
- (fol. 12r) Obsecro te. The Virgin of the Apocalypse, holding the Christ Child, standing on a crescent moon.
- (fol. 14v) O intemerata. The Virgin reading a book, watched by St. Joseph(?).
- (fol. 18r) Stabat mater. Pietà, in front of the Cross.
- (fol. 177r) Missus est Gabriel. The Annunciation: the Virgin and Gabriel kneeling either side of her prie-dieu.
Illuminated borders to every page, of stylized foliage and flowers in gold and blue on a plain parchment ground, and naturalistic plants on variously-shaped panels of painted gold; the designs the same on each side of the leaf. Borders around miniatures with partial or complete gold grounds, and containing birds, insects, hybrid creatures, etc. The foliage in the lower left border of fol. 112r has been crudely pricked, as if for pouncing.
Four-line foliate initials on a burnished gold ground at major text divisions (e.g. the first pericope; Matins, Lauds, etc. of the Virgin, etc.); and similar three-initials at their major sub-divisions (e.g. passages of the Passion narrative); two-line initials often containing naturalistic plants on a painted gold ground, to psalms, prayers, collects, etc.; one-line initials of burnished gold on blue and red grounds with white tracery to verses, antiphons, etc.; line fillers similar to the one-line initials.
The initials and line-fillers at fols. 185r-193v are of a stylistically later type than in the rest of the book, and use only painted gold on an alternately blue or red square ground.
At least four main artists worked on the book, the division of their work corresponding to the sections written by the three main scribes (see under Script):
- Most of the main body of the book (up to fol. 182v) was painted and decorated in one style, having links in style and iconography with the school of Maître François, although several of the miniatures in this section were damaged and have been overpainted at a later date (e.g. the figure of Christ on fol. 33r; the face of the Shepherdess on fol. 59v).
- Within this first section, the miniature at the start of the Hours of the Virgin (fol. 34v), is in slightly later style.
- The border on fol. 184r is of the same general type as those which precede (though with the initials 'E E' - see under Provenance), but the facing miniature appears to be by a later, less able, artist, who was perhaps also responsible for the coat of arms on fol. 184v.
- Finally, the miniature on fol. 185r is by a hand working in the style of Jean Bourdichon: his more sophisticated use of gold highlights, his more subtle modelling, and his treatment of the landscape and the framing architecture set him apart from the miniatures which precede.
Sewn on five cords (all weak or broken at the lower joint); bound in French(?) 19th/20th-century dark blue velvet over pasteboards, with a single gilt metal fitting at the fore-edge of each board, the clasp itself (fastening from the lower to the upper board) lacking; the spine with a gilt metal cartouche with the title 'Heures' in relief; yellow and green endbands; cream-coloured watered-silk doublures. Boxed, perhaps by Boone (see Provenance).
Provenance and Acquisition
? A Franciscan tertiary with the initial(s?) 'E': the St. Francis is the largest miniature (fol. 183v), and the facing page has borders with the initials 'E E' joined by a knotted cord; this same motif is found in other manuscripts, however (most famously those owned by Etienne Chevalier, but also in books probably not owned by him), it may have some other meaning. The coat of arms on fol. 184v (see under Decoration), perhaps by the same artist, and therefore belonging with the preceding two pages, was identified in the Bodleian Library Record (1939) as being of the family of Eylenkirchen of Westphalia, but this is doubtful. The juncture of different scribes and artists around fol. 184, and the repetition of the suffrage to St. Roche, makes it hard to assess whether the images and texts from fol. 183v onwards are likely to have been commissioned by the original owner or a subsequent one.
Unidentified 18th/early-19th-century French owner: an erased inscription (fol. 194r), partially legible under U.V. light, starts: 'Ce livre apartiens ...'.
Claude François Morlot, O.Cist., Abbot of l'Esclache, near Clermont (Puys de Domes) [according to van Dijk, not verified]: inscribed by him (fol. 194v), signed and dated 22 Feb. 1815, offering a reward for the return of the book if found.
Baron de Baussancour[t?]: bought from Morlot in August 1818, according to another inscription (fol. 194v).
Unidentified owner/bookseller: inscribed in black ink 'cot/.' in the lower gutter corner of fol. 194v.
Messrs. T. & W. Boone, London booksellers, 19th-century (see Introduction).
John (or Thomas?) Buchanan: bought from Boone on 16 April, 1862, for £20, and inscribed in pencil with the 'Descriptive list' number, '4.', in the top left corner of fol i verso.
Given to the Bodleian in 1939 by his widow, Mrs. E. O. Buchanan, when it was accessioned as MS. Lat. liturg. e. 25; re-referenced as MS. Buchanan e. 4 in 1941.
Digital Bodleian (17 images from 35mm slides)
Last Substantive Revision
2017-07-01: First online publication.